Mommy Tips

Happy Halloween from the Toy Story Family

WE ARE A TOY STORY FAMILY!

Grayson was not liking the cold. So he isn’t the happiest in some of these pictures!! I got all of our costumes on Amazon!

Mommy- Toy Story Barbie

Daddy- Buzz

Grayson- Woody

Grayson loves this costume and every time he puts it on he says, “reach for the SKY!”. I cannot wait to take this boy trick or treating on Tuesday night! We are going to have a blast.

Tomorrow I am going on the news to show some easy DIY costumes and I cannot wait to show some mommies some last minute ideas! Tuesday I am dressing up as a scarecrow for work. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!

 

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14 Tips on Starting a Family Budget.

14 Tips on Starting a Family Budget.

Aww.. Don’t we look so cute and happy here? We actually had a good day today but this week has been really hard for us. We decided to get our family on a budget. I started listening to The Dave Ramsey Show on podcasts on the way to work. I decided that my goal was to get our family prepared for baby #2 and to get us out of debt. My husband and I came up with a financial plan. I love organizing so why not organize my finances? right?? The first day Chris and I sat down the figured out our budget we fought. We fought more then I thought we would too.

So if you plan on sitting down with your husband/wife and setting up a budget please realize there is a chance you two are going to fight. He was mad because I wanted to keep getting my nails done (nail budget) and I wanted to cut out cable (like that is going to happen with football coming). We compromised and cut some things out. We really knew exactly how much we were going to spend where and we had money left over each month to pay off my car and credit card bills.

If you know me or have been following me for a little while, you have probably noticed that Chris and I are very different. We are different with finances as well. Chris is smart, doesn’t like to buy things he doesn’t necessarily need and I want the new and best of everything. I really enjoy spending money and he would rather save it all. I always joke to my friends and say I am not a hard sell haha.

I am not a financial blogger; however, I can give you an update on how we are doing as a family, how I found ways to save money from our day to day lives (mommy style), and how excited I am to do this.

Do you want to put your family on a budget?

Here are some tips to get started…

  1. Read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book. Find it here
  2. Don’t have time to read a book? Listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcasts. They are free and great if you travel an hour to work like I do. I didn’t read his book.
  3. The Monthly Cash Flow Plan is our favorite budget form from Dave Ramsey. This is what we did on DAY #1. Click here to get yours.
  4. My friend told me about this service called Emeals. They send you a grocery list and recipes with that list to help cut your grocery bill in half. You do have to pay about $9 a month but it could save you hundreds. My friend said she has tried it and loved it and I plan on trying it as well. Link to website here
  5. We are doing the envelope system but you can also do your budget through http://ynab.com.  I also have a friend that uses this app and she said she has saved $7,000. You become aware of some of your spending and it links right up to your bank account.
  6. Bank apps can tell you how much you spend on certain things. When I checked our app I noticed that we spend $600 on just eating out. We cut that in half. This will help you track what you spend and what you can start to budget.
  7. I have never planned for going to the emergency room, my dog getting sick, or the car needing new breaks. This all happened to us last month. When it rains it pours doesn’t it??  But now you are going to plan for all of that. At first I was like no Chris I don’t want to save $100 for just car repairs but one day you are going to need it and you won’t have to pull that out of savings.
  8. You don’t have to be an extreme coupon lady, but do realize that you can save a lot of money at the grocery store by shopping the food that is on sale (the weekly sale ads). Coupon things you actually use or need at the time.
  9. The Ibotta app is amazing and I have $20 dropping into my bank account for scanning my receipts.
  10. If you shop at Walmart make sure you use savings catcher.
  11. Learn how to say NO. I am not going to say No to everything.. I just can’t. I am just not that girl. I love going out with my friends and socializing. It’s how I de-stress. The girls have been inviting me to lunch at work and I keep saying “No guys, I brought my lunch and I am on a budget.” I feel left out and it sucks sometimes. But I have a goal with my family and I want to stick to it. Dave Ramsey says if you are in debt, you are not going to see inside of a restaurant until the debt is paid off. I don’t completely agree with that. I think you should balance things. There is always a healthy balance.As y’all know I am preparing for baby #2.
  12. I use the posh mark app and mercari app to buy gently used clothes for the kids. I got 15 outfits for $25 for the new baby and they were adorable. I totally scored on that one. I also use the app to sell things. I sold my old purse and got $50. It’s a win/ win.
  13. Work together as a team with you and your husband/spouse. It’s going to be hard but y’all will get in the groove. I thought it was so sweet the other night when I was craving fries and my husband told me he would buy them for me with his own cash (not in the budget). I felt like we were dating again and it made me happy.
  14. Consider a side hustle. Can you get a little part time job, bake cupcakes or cakes on the side, sell things you don’t need, paint furniture? It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind on THE goal. Try to turn your hobby into a little cash. When you are busy and productive it’s hard to find time to spend money. Do you know when I spend money or shop online? When I am bored.  That’s when.

Church this morning helped me so much. The sermon was about how people in life are stressed over 2 things. 1. Money 2. Time. The pastor told us when you quit caring about what everyone else has and put God first he will provide. I am so guilty about obsessing over material things. I know I can’t be the only one.

I did realize when I was out with my family tonight that they are my true happiness. Watching my boys skip rocks and feeling my sweet baby kick inside my belly. My sweet 3 year old toddler doesn’t really know what money is.  He doesn’t know what brand of clothes he is wearing. He had fun throwing rocks in the lake with Chris. ROCKS? really.. do you know how many toys he has? He doesn’t care if I am wearing an expensive purse… he just wants me to play with him. He just wants my time and attention. Everything else really doesn’t matter. Remember what is important for you and your family and this will help your achieve your financial goal.

Don’t forget to check out this organization post here

Have a great Labor Day with the ones you love,

Abraidedblonde.

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From One Mom to Another.

I usually plan and prep my blog posts to the day. Every once in a while I want to be spontaneous and run off the path of structure. Plus I have a creative mind and sometimes I don’t plan things. When I want to say something I just want to say it.

This morning I cried in church because I thought about how much God has blessed my life. He has been working in my life without me really knowing. In college I had some pretty ridiculous dark days. I remember saying, “I will never have kids!” Looking back on who I was then compared to who I am now, I cannot believe I said that.

Being a mom and a wife is one of the greatest accomplishments that I have ever achieved. Are there days I get overwhelmed? Sure. Do me and Chris fight over the house work? Absolutely. Every once in a while a get a glass of wine and a bath and Grayson WALKS in the bathroom. (Can I just get one minute to myself?) How could I ever say that I didn’t want this type of life? Of course there are days when I get overwhelmed and I feel like a terrible mom.

Why do all moms get a brief since of grief in there motherhood journey? I believe that sometimes we feel like we are not doing it right. Breastfeeding or formula? Vaccines or not? Co sleeping or crying it out?

You don’t need to know my opinion on all these but I will tell you this. I breast fed my baby for only 6 months because I couldn’t produce any milk. I was commuting to work and working 40 hours a week and I felt like an absolute failure. When I stopped breast feeding and supplying his milk I cried. When I took him to the doctor to get his first shots, he didn’t like them and I cried. I have been trying to put him in his own bed, but the first night I didn’t sleep next to him I cried.

Is my mothering style the correct way? Maybe not to some people but it’s right for us. I didn’t cry when all of those things happened in my motherhood life because other people made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I cried because I knew I was doing something right.

The point is, as mothers we don’t need to bring each other down on our own style. Do you know how many mean looks I have given my mother and mother in law when they give me unwanted advice? It made me so mad even though they were trying to help. I just wanted to learn how to be a mother on my own. I wanted to see what worked for us and what didn’t.

Mother to mother lets tell people our style but don’t bring them down. We cry enough as moms. We cry when our babies quit breastfeeding, when we have to go back to work because maternity leave is over, when they take their first steps, on their first day on kindergarten, when they graduate from high school, and when you are buying their dorm room crap for college. Being a mother is one of the greatest achievements in my life and if I can tell every mom out there that you are not a bad mom, that you are doing it right, that you can do this, that it’s okay to cry, then I feel like as a blogger I am doing something right.

Abraidedblonde

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Hooked on Veggies with Garden Lites

Are you a mom that is faced with the challenge of keeping your family happy and healthy?? I think we have all been there. Yesterday Grayson said, “mommy I want more carrots!” Really? Did my kid just say that? Well it doesn’t happen often. If he could have his way, his diet would consist of fruit snacks and chips.

I have been a huge fan of organic products for a while and Kroger sells a great variety of organic products. So when I was chosen to promote these Garden Lite Muffins, I knew I had to do it. Here is my blog review and why I love these muffins.

1. It has 5 grams of fiber per serving. – According to Web MD,
women are suppose to be consuming 30 grams of fiber in your diet a day. You get 2 muffins and you already have 1/3 of your daily intake. Click here to read Fiber: How much Do I Need?

2. It contains vegetables – Basically what I am telling you is that you can give your kids vegetables but they will think you are giving them chocolate. Mom shoots.. She scores!

3. It’s quick and easy to prep. Take them out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds. BOOM.

4. It’s not expensive. Less than a dollar a muffin. For Breakfast. Yes please! 💁🏼

5. ITS GOOD. Yes, they are delicious. My personal favorite is the blueberry. (Try it with a little butter on top.) I had 3 today. I would never recommend a product without trying it first. I want to only promote the best for my readers. I have turned down some collaborations that I didn’t feel was great quality. Trust me.

Click here to learn more

Happy Hump Day,

Abraidedblonde

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